John Horsley (actor)

John Lovell Horsley[1] (21 July 1920 – 12 January 2014) was an English actor.[2]

John Horsley
Actor John Horsley.jpg
John Lovell Horsley

(1920-07-21)21 July 1920
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England, UK
Died12 January 2014(2014-01-12) (aged 93)
Northwood, Middlesex, England, UK
Years active1950–1997
Spouse(s)June Marshall (1948–1988) (her death) (2 children)

He was born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England.[3] The son of a doctor, he made his acting debut at the Theatre Royal in Bournemouth.[4] After appearing in repertory theatres he was called up for military service in the Royal Devon Yeomanry in which he served in Sicily and Italy during the Second World War.[5] He then contracted hepatitis and become a member of an Army drama company that toured military units.[6]

His early acting career saw him playing a succession of doctors and policemen in many films, the former on film in Hell Drivers (1957), the latter on television in Big Breadwinner Hog (1969).[7][8] He was more prolific in television from the 1960s and played character roles in many series and programmes including The Lotus Eaters (1972–73) and The Duchess of Duke Street (1976-77), though is perhaps best known for his role as Doc Morrissey in the BBC sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976–79) in which his catchphrase was "Take two aspirins".[9][10] He reprised the role in The Legacy of Reginald Perrin in 1996.[11] Horsley also starred in the 1980s comedy series 'My Husband and I'.

Horsley was also cast in the role of Sir Ralph Shawcross in the BBC sitcom You Rang, M'Lord? (1990–93), as the Bishop of Tatchester in the BBC adaptation of John Masefield's The Box of Delights (1984), and appeared in Miss Marple (Nemesis) in 1987 as Professor Wanstead and Agatha Christie's Poirot (Hercule Poirot's Christmas) in 1995 as Edward Tressilian.[9][12] He also appeared in Hi-de-Hi, in the first episode of the fourth season, titled "Co-respondents Course", as Clive.[13] His final role was in the TV mini-series Rebecca in 1997.[14]

Horsley was married to the actress June Marshall (1923-1988) from 1948 until her death, and had two daughters.[15] He died on 12 January 2014 at Denville Hall, the retirement home for actors.[16]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Deceased Estates" the Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  2. ^ "John Horsley". BFI.
  3. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  4. ^ Baker, Richard Anthony (23 January 2014). "John Horsley - Obituaries".
  5. ^ "John Horsley - obituary". 6 February 2014 – via
  6. ^ "John Horsley: Character actor whose comedic talent brought him fame as". The Independent. 23 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Hell Drivers (1957) - Cy Raker Endfield - Cast and Crew". AllMovie.
  8. ^ "Improving, But He Must Not Flout Authority ... (1969)". BFI.
  9. ^ a b "John Horsley".
  10. ^ John Horsley at Leonard retrieved 1 January 2012
  11. ^ "The Legacy of Reginald Perrin - TV Guide".
  12. ^ "The Box of Delights". 15 November 1984. p. 68 – via BBC Genome.
  13. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Hi-De-Hi! Series 3, Episode 7 - Co-respondent's Course". British Comedy Guide.
  14. ^ "Rebecca Part 2 (1997)". BFI.
  15. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  16. ^ Brian Pendreigh "Obituary: John Horsley, actor", The Scotsman, 16 January 2014

External linksEdit